Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tactics Vs Technique

It seems all good stories start with either, "So, there I was..." or even better, "Hold my beer, let me show you something...".

I don't drink. So, there I was, on my grade school playground about nine years old. I was playing tether ball by myself, happily smashing the shit out of the ball. Watching it twist around the pole was both physically refreshing, and mentally exciting. Watching physics at work is mesmerizing for me then and still is today.

A few minutes into my fun, this little turd approached my laboratory. He decided he wanted to perform some research on his own. I wasn't all that interested in sharing my certain future as a Nobel Prize winner in low-Earth orbital mechanics. This advanced aged spermatozoa grabbed the ball and locked onto it. My demeanor went instantly from quiet nerd into a mutant, flesh eating virus from a Cold War East German biological weapons lab. I wanted to expand wreckage across his smiling face.

I reached for the ball, fingers extended (mistake #1), and started to yank the ball back. The asshole bit my right middle two fingers. I'm talking an accurate, interpretive dance of a bear gnawing a camper's legs off. I was paralyzed! "Ahh fucker! Let go you cock gobbling asshole!", I screamed. (or something along those lines, but I am CERTAIN I said fuck or ass in there somewhere...) Eventually he let go, and still had the ball. Mother fucker.

So...this butthole executed a nice technique: biting. Practiced three times a day of course. His excellent tactic though, involved waiting (or baiting?) me to attack, then stupidly extending my arms in a weaker position. His tactic, empowered his technique. Not the other way around. Jiu jitsu, work or whatever, I believe can leverage this principle. Next time you are stuck in a scenario requiring you to act...think about what would ENABLE and EMPOWER your action. Is there a strategy to weaken my opponent's balance? Can I orient myself at his weakest angle? Can I force him to over-extend his attack? Can I read his movements and feel for when he is about to act? Can I wear him down? Can I use my attributes (speed, power, flexibility) to counter his action? Can I keep him from not acting at all?

Tactics bitches. This shit works! A slightly off-tangent BJJ concept is position before submission. Yet, I believe a position is still a technique, and tactics need be employed to gain that position, which can then lead to another tactic, which may then lead to a submission.

The military has a concept called OODA. Orient, observe, direct, act. Look this shit up, it's gold. It's full of details, concepts, feedback loops etc..

That is all I have for today.
As far as I can remember I've never played tether ball again, but I'll never forget that little fucker.


  1. John Will discusses this often in his seminars. Comes from a man named Colonel Boyd. His manifesto is freely downloadable online.